Picasso, Cubism, Mondrian Reference Work: Pablo Essay

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Picasso, Cubism, Mondrian

Reference Work: Pablo Picasso, Portrait of Daniel-Henry Kahnweiler 1910


For the popular person, the name Pablo Picasso stands out as a metaphor for 20th century art, usually art that is colorful, a bit on the abstract side, and clearly prolific. Picasso is best known as on of the founders of the Cubist movement in modern art. What is most amazing about Stravinsky is the wide spectrum of styles he embodied -- from the famous line drawing of Stravinksy in 1920 to his surrealism of the 1930s, culminating in various permutations of neo-expressionism during his later years ("Biography and Works," 2006).

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Cubism, like most styles of art, music, and literature, is difficult to completely define. There are, however, some guides to it conception and styles. As an art movement, it was an off shoot of the works of Cezanne, pioneered by Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque during the early part of the 20th century. It was a radical departure from the impressionism and romanticism of the late 19th century, and inspired related movements in music and literature. While art scholars organize Cubism into three stylistic periods, the basic characteristics of the movement surround the way objects are deconstructed, analyzed, and reassembled - but not in portrait form, more abstract and interpretive. Objects are depicted from multiple viewpoints that, for the artist, represent the nature of the object in a more panoramic concept. At first glance, some of these objects seem to intersect randomly and have little signs of depth or perspective for the viewer. However, upon study, the background and intersecting planes create an additional spatial viewpoint, which is another cubist characteristic (Gantefuhrer-Trier, 2009). The title, "cubism," comes from the approach using various geometric shapes that, when combined, form an alternate reality of the image in question.

Essay on Picasso, Cubism, Mondrian Reference Work: Pablo Picasso, Assignment

The painting to the left, for example, is called Girl With Dark Hair, by Picasso. Note the shapes of the eyes, nose and mouth, almost as if the girl was a picture that was taken apart, then put back together by someone who didn't really know what a human looked like -- yet the viewer can still tell it is a human. Note, too, that despite the seeming mismatch, there is emotion emanating from the portrait -- the girl is contemplative, almost sad, and to appreciate the power of this art, think of the picture as numerous snapshots of a fixed point that, at a glance, become synergistically a whole.

Additionally, the impetus -- and really the power, of the cubist movement is that it took into account the way the world was changing during the 20th century. Cubism, like the geopolitical structure, was becoming more global; cultures were being discovered and cataloged by sociologists and anthropologists, art was being imported from Asia, Oceania, Africa, and other less developed countries. It was often the very stark primitivism of these ethnic works that influenced the cubist in terms of color, shape and line (Perry, et.al., 1993).

Pieter Mondriaan (1872-1944), a Dutch painter knew of cubism, and knew he had to experience it as part of his journey to find his own personal style and expression in painting. Arriving in Paris in 1912, he first changed his name to Mondrian', dropping the Dutch double-a, and making a focused attempt to become more Gallic. Almost immediately, the cubist revolution influenced Mondrian, but for him, it was more of an intellectual pursuit of imitation and understanding so… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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